The most significant events in my life have been...

Les événements les plus marquants de ma vie ont été...


admission to the college of my choice, when i got a perfect grade on an exam

all events are significant

being accepted into MIT, having left my hometown

being born, spending time with family, and living in general.

coming to America

coming to MIT

coming to school at MIT, growing up every day,

coming to the US when I was 13, being accepted at MIT, meeting my boyfriend.

decisions as to where to go to school.

getting into MIT and Harvard, leaving home to go to MIT,

making new friends and going to school, especially college.

my acceptance into MIT.

my first train trip, the beginning of my career, and coming to college.

my siblings' births, going to college

nothing as compared to my rapturous delight in having filled these sentence completions.

opening my mind, having a girlfriend, and leaving home.

saving a friend's life, getting into MIT, giving a graduation speech

transition into high school, Confirmation, and choosing and coming to MIT

winning a national science competition, getting in to MIT.

with my family, and people close to me.

des rencontres, mon arrivée en France (après le bac), un stage

la chute du mur de Berlin, mes premières fois.

la coupe du monde de football de 1998 et celle de 2002.

la mort de mon cousin dans un accident de voiture

la naissance de Lisa, les décès de mes proches

la naissance de ma fille, la mort de mon père et de ma mère

les compétitions de skis, échec professionnel

les rencontres que j'ai eu à faire durant ces cinqs dernières années en France et en Belgique.

mes voyages en Russie, mes années étudiantes

mes voyages et rencontres

mon baptême, la retrouvaille avec ma famille en France, les réussites dans mes études, les sorties en groupe et le changement de ma vie dans toute ses facettes lorsque j'ai décidé de quitter Madagascar et de joindre la France.

mon mariage et l'annonce de la grossesse de ma femme

mon permis de conduire, mes 18 ans, le lycée

mon premier vol dans un cockpit, mon premier salaire, mon premier amour


rupture avec mon ex copine

travailler à Montgallet un quartier informatique, découvrir le ski

un décès, l'injustice du système scolaire français


It is evident that getting into MIT was a very significant moment for most of us, but I don't know whether that reflects the opinion of Americans as a whole. MIT is considered to be a good school, which makes our acceptances significant, but for most Americans getting into college is not that significant. Perhap exepriences in college is what is more memorable later on. Also we tended to mention academic successes, whereas there were fewer responses regarding school on the French side. What was more apparent was that the French mentioned deaths, and births a lot more, as well as travelling. It seems like we gave our current opinion whereas you took a look at your whole life, and events that happened throughout, not just recently. I think Americans tend to focus on positive events whereas the French saw significant as both positive and negative, (such as death, or breaking up) with broader perspective as well. The French also had more events involving other people than the Americans. Are your lives heavily influenced by those around you?

I wonder how often we think of our friends and relatives who have died. I know that when do, I don't ever think about their deaths in a negative light, but rather about their lives in a positive one. Do the you all think similarly, or do you tend to mourn the deaths of you friends and/or family? I'd like to ask that question to the American students too, since many of us come from different countries. It may be that our country doesn't so much affect our thinking as does our religion or lack thereof.

I think the French events are more outward-looking -- things like travel, the birth or death of another person, etc. On the other hand, the American responses are almost entirely about MIT, which shows 1) our generation/peer group's obsession with getting into college, 2) the anticipated impact of MIT on our futures, and 3) that we may not have had as significant events (or be as worldly) as the French students. Do French students not view the college application and selection process as a huge, daunting task, and one of the most important decisions of their lives? I definitely did.

I feel like some of the differences in response are also due to age differences? There are definately some things mentioned that we (the majority of which seem to be undergraduates) have yet to experience for a while yet. Also i feel that many people have written MIT due to its relatively recent nature and the fact that it is a very immediate event that is happening right now.
I myself could not choose any specific experience as I feel that all events are significant to ones development.

I second what many of us have already said. Reading the responses in this forum, I feel there is definitely a life experience gap between us. Are you mostly Master students? In general, for all the words and phrases, I feel that many of your responses are more worldly, whereas ours are more focused on our own situations. Do you feel the same way?

American students who are intelligent and college-bound tend to set their goals rather narrowly in high school, focusing all effort from ninth grade forward on getting into a top university. It's not surprising that for MIT students, getting into MIT was an important milestone. For me, the college application process was sort of an afterthought, something I only started some time after graduating from high school. This speaks more of my educational background, peer group, and rural hometown than anything, though. Nobody in my school had college aspirations and there was no counseling effort, so I'd say that the level of investment really varies from student to student at MIT, depending on just what path they took to get here.

Reading through the responses to the question, I noticed that the MIT students talked about very immediate events(their acceptance into MIT), and leaving home for college. It is definitely noticable that you guys have had a bit more of a life experience than us. SOmething that I found interesting was that travelling and meeting new people is very important to you. Being from Bulgaria, I definitely relate to this. WHy do you think it is that people from Europe generally value travel much more that people from the US? Is it because it is much easier to travel in Europe because of the small distances or do you thing there is something about the culture of Europe and the importance of knowing and caring for other countries?

peut-être est-ce pour des raisons culturelles...dans tous les cas, il est vrai qu'il est très facile de voyager en Europe (presque aussi facile que de changer d'état chez vous je pense). Avec l'Europe on peut même travailler à l'étranger sans passport avec juste une carte d'identité...ce qui encourage le déplacement et la découverte....

Vincent - Before the formation of the EU, was it still the case that Europeans travailed and moved around a lot? Do you find that the level of displacements increased as a result of the union?